Didi Chuxing launches health safety effort in its ride-hailing cars to slow the coronavirus

February 23, 2020
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China's largest ride-hailing platform, Didi Chuxing, is increasing its push to help slow the current spread of the coronavirus by launching a new program to put protective health barriers between passengers and drivers.

Beijing-based Didi plans to invest about $14.3 million in this safety measure, which involves installing protective plastic sheets that are expected to prevent droplet transmission of the COVID-19 disease, according to the company's statement.

"Didi is implementing this and other anti-coronavirus initiatives, as public health officials call on citizens to use public transportation with caution," the company said. "This measure is popular among drivers and riders."

With guidance from medical professionals, Didi initially rolled out its protective divider program in a number of cities, including the southern coastal city of Shenzhen, Taiyuan in northern Shanxi province and in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province and the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Didi drivers can choose to install the protective screens in selected locations or on their own using the instructions provided.

A spokesman for Didi Chuxing declined to comment on the total number of cars under the ride-hailing platform but said the company supported 30 million drivers as of 2018.

Didi's expanded safety measures have come amid industry difficulties in China, the world's biggest ride-hailing market, where the coronavirus outbreak has led to a slowdown in demand.

Despite an aversion to using mass public transport at the present time, even ride-hailing is facing new problems after reports earlier this month of multiple drivers being diagnosed with coronavirus, clouding prospects for an industry already hit hard by government-imposed travel restrictions across the country.

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February 23, 2020

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